DAY 15: “QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS” (REGINA SANCTORUM OMNIUM)
The eighth of the twelve invocations of Mary as “Queen” praises her as “Queen of all Saints” (Latin, Regina Sanctorum omnium), which (somehow), in the past, summed up the invocations contained in the Litany, until few other titles were added. Put in other words, after the apostles, martyrs, confessors of the faith, and virgins, the Church honours the Blessed Virgin Mary as the queen of all those who lived an exemplary life of configuration to Christ: the saints. Holiness is this: live like Jesus lived – love like Jesus loved, feel what Jesus felt, smile like Jesus smiled, etc., ” It is possible to repeat the words of the apostle Paul: “It is no longer I who live; it is Christ who lives in me ”(Gal. 2:20). This was not different with the Blessed Virgin Mary whose exemplary life obtained for her the “queenship” title and model for all those who follow the footstep her beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In her life of holiness, she became more and more like her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; to her, it was indeed a unique case. Therefore, today, being the fifteenth day of our October Devotion, we shall briefly contemplate this title – “Queen of all Saints.”
We cannot deny that Mary is called Queen in the Church’s Tradition – in Eastertide, we pray “Regina Caeli,” at the end of the Rosary we say “Salve Regina”; even the very litany expresses Mary’s reign twelve times as queen. If the angels see her as their queen, and likewise, the glorious company of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, etc., all honour her as their queen; then, obviously, she becomes the “Queen of all Saints,” because the word “saint” comes from the Latin “Sanctus” and literally means “holy.” In the New Testament, the term “saint” is broadly used to refer to all who believe in Jesus Christ and who follow His teachings. Saint Paul often addresses his epistles to “the Saints” of a particular city (see, for instance, Ephesians 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 1:1). However, with time, it became clear that some Christians lived lives of extraordinary, or heroic, virtue, beyond that of the average Christian believer; these particular Christians were eminent examples of the moral virtues (or cardinal virtues), and they practised the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity and exhibited the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Consequently, the word saint (that was previously applied to all Christian believers) now became more narrowly applied to such people, with the belief that they are being rewarded in heaven. Of these holy (saintly) people, the great Mother of God is honoured as Queen. The royalty of Mary is founded on her intimate and singular union with God.
Invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Queen of all Saints” encircles her queenship role as “Queen of heaven and earth.” Earlier in 1954, Pope Pius XII originally designated May 31 as a Marian feast day to celebrate the Queenship of Mary; later, the Second Vatican Council chose August 22 as the date to commemorate Mary specifically under the title “Queen of All Saints,” as a festive prolongation of the Feast of Mary’s Assumption. Mary is sometimes likened to the moon among lesser stars (“Velut inter stellas luna minores”), meaning that she is the greatest among lesser saints, exceeding all other saints in holiness.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is called the Queen of All Saints because she made the most diligent use of the rich treasure of grace given to her by God and excelled in every virtue much more than every other saint; needless to say, all the other saints call her “Blessed,” because she is superior to them. If our Lord Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all perfections and holiness, then, the Blessed Virgin Mary, through whom He came into the world in the flesh must equally bear the same trait, for “a bad tree cannot produce good fruits” (cf. Mat. 7:18) – Jesus is the Blessed fruit of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary (cf. Luke. 1:42). Thus, all the traits of Jesus were expressed in her as faithfully as they could be expressed in any creature. As she surpasses all saints in choosing a virtuous and meritorious life, so Mary stands higher than all the faithful in receiving glory and reward. After God, there is no greater bliss for the blessed in heaven than to behold her, their glorious Queen. The popular hymn: “I’ll sing a hymn to Mary…” expresses this reality perfectly: “The saints are high in glory, with golden crowns so bright; but brighter far is Mary, upon her throne of light. Oh, that which God did give thee, let mortal ne’er disclaim; when wicked men blaspheme thee, I’ll love and bless thy name.”
Dear friends in Christ, let us continue to pray to the “Queen of All Saints” for the grace to remember that God has created us to live a life of holiness in this world and to become saints in heaven. God will give us enough grace to do this if only we have an earnest desire for holiness just as Mary did. Holiness does not consist in heroic deeds, but in doing the will of God perfectly, loving God with all our heart and our neighbour for God’s sake, keeping our soul from sin, and being united with God through prayer and the Sacraments. May by invoking her as “Queen of all Saints,” may she obtain for us the grace to imitate her holiness in this present life and to be happy with God (the source of all holiness) forever in His Kingdom of love, happiness and peace. Amen
Let Us Pray
O God, you exalted the Blessed Virgin Mary above the saints as queen because of the singular privilege of being the Mother of Your Son. Grant, we pray, that imitating her virtues and invoking her prayers, we may be counted among the saints who rejoice in the queenship of Mary. Amen
Oh “Queen of All Saints” (Regina Sanctorum Omnium), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?